July 23, 2013

A Rising Addiction Among South Korean Youths: Smartphones

According to the South Korea government, roughly 1 in 5 students is addicted to smartphone use. This addiction is defined as spending more than seven hours a day using the phone and experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and depression when cut off from the device. The Wall Street Journal reports.

quotemarksright.jpgEarlier this month, the South Korean government said it plans to provide nationwide counseling programs for youngsters by the end of the year and train teachers on how to deal with students with addiction.

With a mobile-phone penetration rate of more than 100%—meaning some individuals carry more than one handset—and smartphones nearly two-thirds of those devices, the government is setting measures to deal with the problems such heavy exposure has spawned. For comparison, the smartphone penetration rate in the U.S. was 50% as of June, according to the International Telecommunication Union.

Korea has had problems with online-game addiction among teenagers for years thanks to widespread availability of high-speed Internet services. Now that smartphone penetration among teens and children is rising at a faster pace than other groups, the age at which people find it hard to wean themselves.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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